Remembering the Art of Ralph McQuarrie

Ralph McQuarrie passed away on Saturday. Although he may not have been a household name for the general public, he was a renowned designer and artist whose conceptual illustrations defined a number of classic movies that fanboys like me hold dear.


Best known for the preliminary artwork for Star Wars that helped bring the vision of George Lucas to life, he also visualized other films before they were captured on celluloid -- E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Cocoon, and Jurassic Park.  He also work on conceptualizing the original Battlestar Galactica television show, among other projects.


His paintings have a delightful pulp-fictiony look, reflecting the old science-fiction space operas and serials that inspired Lucas. They also have a gritty realism that made Star Wars feel so fresh and revolutionary compared to the sci-fi flicks that had come before. 


McQuarrie might be gone, but his art remains, along with the movies that used that art as inspiration. May he rest in peace.

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